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Reader comment on item: [Beltway Snipers]: Converts to Violence?

Submitted by Rob Wymer (United States), Dec 16, 2002 at 07:18

I don't know what school Mr. Palazzolo went to, but I never learned about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson being sexists or racists. I do know that they lived in a different time when women and people of color were not treated fairly, even oppressed. That was two hundred years ago, and it was quite normal for males, especially those in the ethnic majority, to dominate society. It is still fairly widespread.

However, two hundred years ago, it was not mainstream, or even acceptable, to randomly kill innocent people because you disagree (or even think you might disagree) with some of the policies of their government. I don't like to be prejudicial, but it seems that from what I have read and heard, Arab society does teach - whether directly or indirectly - fear and distrust of western ideals, perhaps even hatred (reminiscent of the original "McArthyism"). It seems that such despicable behavior is quite acceptable in some parts of the world, even revered.

As we age and mature, most learn to be more reasonable, analytical, and even skeptical. We learn to absorb information and (very importantly) form our own opinions. Perhaps there is a reason why schools do not, and should not teach that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were sexists or racists, especially to young, extremely impressionable children. It is the same reason why all peoples should teach facts, not teach their children to distrust and hate.

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